Top 20 Best Golf Courses in the World in 2024

Golf is a sport that has captivated the hearts of millions around the world. Whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or a seasoned professional, the allure of a beautifully designed golf course is hard to resist. You’ll get here the best Golf Courses in the World with details.

From historic gems to coastal beauties, there are countless golf courses that offer a truly exceptional experience. In this article, we will explore the top 20 best golf courses in the world, each one offering its unique charm and challenges.

Table of Contents

20 Best Golf Courses in the world

From the sun-drenched coasts of Scotland to the rugged landscapes of New Zealand, these golfing sanctuaries embody the epitome of the sport’s elegance and challenge. Join us as we delve into the unique and unparalleled experiences that await golf enthusiasts on these hallowed grounds.

  1. Augusta National Golf Club: A Historic Gem
  2. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club: A Test of Skill
  3. St. Andrews Links: The Birthplace of Golf
  4. Pebble Beach Golf Links: Coastal Beauty
  5. Royal County down Golf Club: Majestic Landscapes
  6. Cape Kidnappers Golf Course: Clifftop Splendor
  7. Pine Valley Golf Club: A Golfer’s Haven
  8. Merion Golf Club: Rich in Tradition
  9. Royal Melbourne Golf Club: A True Australian Gem
  10. Muirfield Golf Links: Golfing Legacy
  11. Royal Portrush Golf Club: Stunning Irish Scenery
  12. Whistling Straits: A Destination for Golfers
  13. Oakmont Country Club: Legendary Difficulty
  14. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: A Golfer’s Paradise
  15. Valderrama Golf Club: European Excellence
  16. Bethpage Black Course: A Public Golfing Gem
  17. Kingsbarns Golf Links: Coastal Elegance
  18. Trump Turnberry Resort: Scottish Grandeur
  19. Cypress Point Club: A Hidden Paradise
  20. Carnoustie Golf Links: A Challenging Links Course

Get ready to swing, putt, and bask in the beauty of the best golf courses the world has to offer.

1.   Augusta National Golf Club: A Historic Gem

Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is not only one of the most renowned golf courses in the world but also a symbol of tradition and prestige. Known for its picturesque beauty and rich history, Augusta National stands as a historic gem that captures the hearts of golfers and fans alike.

The History and Tradition

Augusta National Golf Club was founded by golf legend Bobby Jones and businessman Clifford Roberts in 1933. From its humble beginnings, the club has grown to become an iconic destination for golf enthusiasts. The Masters Tournament, one of the most prestigious golf championships, has been hosted at Augusta National since 1934, attracting top players and capturing the attention of millions of viewers worldwide.

The Magnolia Lane and Amen Corner

One of the most iconic features of Augusta National is the breathtaking Magnolia Lane, a majestic entrance lined with beautiful magnolia trees that leads to the clubhouse. Stepping onto the grounds, golfers and visitors are immersed in a world of natural beauty and meticulous landscaping.

The course itself is a masterpiece of design. One of the most challenging and revered sections is Amen Corner, encompassing the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes. The swirling winds, narrow fairways, and treacherous water hazards make this stretch a true test of skill and nerve for golfers.

The Course Design and Beauty

Augusta National’s course layout is a harmonious blend of strategic design and natural aesthetics. The undulating fairways, perfectly manicured greens, and strategic bunkering create an intricate challenge for golfers of all levels. The course’s signature holes, such as the par-3 16th hole known as “Redbud,” provide memorable moments and thrilling finishes.

Traditions and Exclusivity

Augusta National Golf Club is renowned for its strict membership policy and exclusive nature. The club’s membership is highly coveted and limited, adding to its allure. The Master’s Tournament, held annually in April, is steeped in tradition, from the ceremonial green jacket presentation to the iconic azaleas in full bloom.

Philanthropy and Impact

Beyond its golfing legacy, Augusta National is committed to making a positive impact on the community. The club’s philanthropic efforts include supporting various charitable initiatives, providing scholarships, and promoting the growth of the game through initiatives like the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship for young golfers.

2.   Shinnecock Hills Golf Club: A Test of Skill

Located in Southampton, New York, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club is renowned for its rich golfing heritage and challenging layout. Established in 1891, it is one of the oldest golf clubs in the United States and has hosted multiple U.S. Open Championships.

The History and Legacy

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club holds a special place in golfing history. It was one of the five founding members of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and has played a significant role in shaping the sport in America. Over the years, it has welcomed some of the greatest golfers and witnessed memorable moments in golfing history.

The Design and Layout

The course at Shinnecock Hills is a true test of skill for golfers. Designed by William Flynn and Charles B. Macdonald, it features undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and challenging green complexes. The layout demands accuracy and precision, requiring golfers to navigate the natural hazards and carefully plan their shots.

Course Challenges

Shinnecock Hills is known for its fast and firm conditions, which add an additional layer of difficulty to the game. The wind coming off the nearby Atlantic Ocean further adds to the challenge, making club selection and shot execution crucial. The greens, renowned for their speed and subtle undulations, require delicate putting skills.

U.S. Open Legacy

Shinnecock Hills has a storied history of hosting U.S. Open Championships. The tournament’s return to this iconic course in recent years has showcased the club’s commitment to upholding golfing traditions while providing a stern test for the world’s best golfers. The U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills offers a spectacle for both players and spectators alike.

Beyond Golf

Apart from the exceptional golfing experience, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club also prides itself on its rich heritage and commitment to environmental stewardship. The club actively participates in initiatives to preserve and protect the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

3.   St. Andrews Links: The Birthplace of Golf

St. Andrews Links, located in St. Andrews, Scotland, holds a hallowed place in the world of golf as the birthplace of the sport. With its rich history, iconic landmarks, and captivating courses, St. Andrews Links is a pilgrimage site for golfers from around the globe.

The Historical Significance

St. Andrews is steeped in golfing history dating back to the 15th century. It is supposed that the Old Course at St. Andrews Links is the oldest golf course in the world, making it a cherished landmark for golf enthusiasts. The game of golf evolved on these ancient fairways, creating a lasting legacy that continues to shape the sport.

The Old Course

The Old Course at St. Andrews Links is a testament to the traditions and evolution of golf. Its unique layout, characterized by double greens and sprawling fairways, presents a challenging and strategic test for golfers. Walking in the footsteps of golfing legends and playing the iconic 18th hole known as the “Home of Golf” is a dream come true for golf aficionados.

The Links Trust

St. Andrews Links is managed by the St. Andrews Links Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and development of the courses. The trust ensures that the golfing heritage of St. Andrews is maintained while providing golfers with exceptional playing conditions and experiences.

The Golf Museum and Heritage

St. Andrews is home to the British Golf Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the sport’s history. Exploring the museum allows visitors to delve into the origins and evolution of golf, enhancing their appreciation for the significance of St. Andrews as the birthplace of the game.

4.   Pebble Beach Golf Links: Coastal Beauty

Nestled along the stunning coastline of Monterey County, California, Pebble Beach Golf Links is renowned for its awe-inspiring beauty and world-class golfing experience. With its breathtaking views, challenging layout, and rich history, Pebble Beach stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of nature and golf.

The Scenic Delight

Pebble Beach Golf Links captivates golfers and visitors with its dramatic coastal scenery. The course showcases panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and pristine beaches. Every hole offers a visual feast, with the crashing waves and majestic cypress trees framing the fairways. The breathtaking beauty of Pebble Beach leaves an indelible mark on all who experience it.

Championship Heritage

Pebble Beach has hosted numerous prestigious golf championships, including the U.S. Open. The course’s demanding layout, strategic bunkering, and small, undulating greens provide a true test of skill for the world’s best golfers. The iconic finishing holes, like the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th, have witnessed unforgettable moments and thrilling conclusions to tournaments.

The Pebble Beach Resorts

Beyond the golf course, Pebble Beach offers a luxurious experience with its world-class resorts. The Lodge at Pebble Beach and The Inn at Spanish Bay provide elegant accommodations, exceptional dining, and unparalleled hospitality. Guests can indulge in spa treatments, savor gourmet cuisine, and relax in the serene coastal ambiance.

Del Monte Forest

Pebble Beach Golf Links is nestled within the scenic Del Monte Forest, an enchanting natural landscape that enhances the overall experience. The forest is home to ancient cypress trees, vibrant flora, and diverse wildlife. Exploring the forested areas surrounding the golf course adds an element of tranquility and serenity to the visit.

Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship

Pebble Beach Golf Links is committed to environmental conservation. The course actively implements practices to preserve water resources, protect wildlife habitats, and minimize its ecological footprint. Pebble Beach embraces the responsibility of being a steward of its natural surroundings.

5.   Royal County down Golf Club: Majestic Landscapes

Located in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, Royal County Down Golf Club is widely regarded as one of the most stunning and challenging golf courses in the world. Nestled between the Mountains of Mourne and the Irish Sea, the club offers golfers a truly majestic setting with its breathtaking landscapes and rich golfing heritage.

Spectacular Scenery

Royal County Down Golf Club is blessed with awe-inspiring natural beauty. The course is set against the backdrop of the rugged Mountains of Mourne, which provide a stunning panorama as players navigate the fairways. The course itself features undulating dunes, sweeping valleys, and stunning views of the nearby Irish Sea, creating a visually captivating experience.

The Championship Links

Designed by Old Tom Morris and later modified by Harry S. Colt, it offers a formidable challenge to even the most skilled golfers. The layout demands strategic shot-making, accurate ball placement, and precise club selection due to its well-placed bunkers, treacherous rough, and challenging greens.

Historical Significance

Royal County Down has a rich golfing history dating back to 1889 when the original nine-hole course was established. Since then, it has hosted many prestigious tournaments, including the Irish Open and the Curtis Cup. The club’s heritage and tradition are deeply ingrained, further adding to its allure and reputation.

The Annesley Links

The Championship Links, Royal County Down also features the Annesley Links. This course provides an alternative golfing experience, with its own unique challenges and captivating views. It offers a less-demanding option while still showcasing the beauty and design excellence that Royal County Down is known for.

The Clubhouse and Hospitality

The clubhouse at Royal County Down is a welcoming and elegant establishment, offering excellent facilities and services to members and visitors. Golfers can enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking views of the course and surrounding landscape. The hospitality at Royal County Down complements the golfing experience and ensures a memorable visit.

6.   Cape Kidnappers Golf Course: Clifftop Splendor

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, located in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, is a golfing paradise that combines breathtaking clifftop views with a world-class golfing experience. Perched on dramatic cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean, this stunning course offers golfers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and challenging play.

A Scenic Marvel

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course is renowned for its clifftop splendor, providing golfers with panoramic vistas that are simply awe-inspiring. As players navigate the course, they are treated to breathtaking views of the sparkling ocean, rugged cliffs, and the surrounding Hawke’s Bay landscape. The dramatic coastal scenery creates a sense of tranquility and grandeur that enhances the overall golfing experience.

A Design Marvel

Designed by renowned golf architect Tom Doak, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course showcases his exceptional talent for integrating the course seamlessly into its natural surroundings. The layout takes full advantage of the rugged clifftop terrain, offering golfers an unforgettable and challenging golfing journey. The fairways wind their way along the cliff edge, providing thrilling shots and demanding strategic play.

Challenging Play

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course is known for its challenging layout, testing the skills of even the most seasoned golfers. The undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and fast greens require precise shot-making and careful course management. Each hole presents its own unique challenges, ensuring that golfers are constantly engaged and rewarded for well-executed shots.

Unforgettable Signature Holes

Cape Kidnappers is home to several signature holes that leave a lasting impression on golfers. The 6th hole, known as “Pirates Plank,” requires a nerve-wracking tee shot across a chasm to a green perched on the edge of a cliff. The 15th hole, aptly named “Gull’s Wing,” features a narrow fairway framed by steep cliffs, demanding accuracy and control. These memorable holes, among others, add to the allure of Cape Kidnappers Golf Course.

Luxury and Hospitality

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course provides a world-class experience both on and off the course. The clubhouse offers luxurious amenities and breathtaking views of the course and the ocean beyond. Golfers can indulge in fine dining, relax in elegant surroundings, and enjoy warm hospitality that complements the exceptional golfing experience.

7.   Pine Valley Golf Club: A Golfer’s Haven

Nestled in the picturesque Pine Barrens of New Jersey, Pine Valley Golf Club stands as a golfer’s haven and one of the most revered courses in the world. With its exquisite natural beauty, challenging layout, and rich golfing history, Pine Valley offers a truly extraordinary experience for golf enthusiasts.

A Serene Oasis

Pine Valley Golf Club is renowned for its stunning natural surroundings. The course is set amidst the tranquil Pine Barrens, a unique ecosystem characterized by towering pine trees, sandy soil, and lush vegetation.

This serene oasis creates a sense of seclusion and tranquility, allowing golfers to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in the game they love.

A Testament to Design

The design of Pine Valley Golf Club is nothing short of remarkable. The course was masterfully crafted by George Arthur Crump, a passionate golfer turned self-taught architect.

Crump envisioned a course that would test and challenge golfers of all skill levels, while seamlessly blending with the natural landscape. The result is a course that showcases the perfect harmony between man-made design and the untouched beauty of nature.

Challenging and Rewarding

Pine Valley is renowned for its demanding and strategic layout. The course features tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and undulating greens, all of which require precision and thoughtful shot selection. Golfers must navigate through dense vegetation and strategically positioned hazards, making each hole a thrilling and rewarding experience. The course’s difficulty is a testament to its reputation as one of the most challenging and rewarding golf courses in the world.

Unparalleled Beauty

Every corner of Pine Valley Golf Club offers breathtaking beauty. The rolling fairways are framed by towering pines, creating a captivating backdrop for each shot.

The natural contours of the land, coupled with strategically placed water features and meticulously manicured greens, make every hole a visual masterpiece. From the first tee to the final putt, golfers are treated to a symphony of natural beauty that enhances the overall golfing experience.

Legacy and Prestige

Pine Valley Golf Club has a rich history and a prestigious reputation in the golfing world. Since its establishment in 1913, it has hosted numerous championship events and has been a beacon for golfers seeking a true test of skill. Pine Valley’s exclusivity and limited access have only added to its allure, making it a bucket-list destination for golfers around the globe.

8.   Merion Golf Club: Rich in Tradition

Merion Golf Club, located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, is a storied golfing institution that is rich in tradition and history. With its prestigious championship pedigree, classic course design, and timeless elegance, Merion Golf Club holds a special place in the hearts of golf enthusiasts around the world.

A Historic Legacy

Merion Golf Club has a long and storied history that dates back to its founding in 1896. It has been the host of numerous prestigious golf events, including multiple U.S. Opens, U.S. Amateurs, and Walker Cups. The club’s hallowed fairways have witnessed the triumphs and challenges of golf’s greatest players, adding to its aura of reverence and prestige.

Classic Course Design

The East Course at Merion Golf Club is renowned for its classic course design, which has stood the test of time. Designed by legendary golf course architect Hugh Wilson, the course showcases strategic bunkering, challenging green complexes, and a variety of shot-making opportunities.

The tree-lined fairways and undulating terrain create a captivating and picturesque setting for golfers to test their skills.

The Wicker Baskets

One of the unique and iconic features of Merion Golf Club is the use of wicker baskets instead of traditional flagsticks. Dating back to the club’s early days, these distinctive wicker baskets are perched atop tall poles and serve as the targets for golfers. This tradition adds a touch of nostalgia and quirkiness to the golfing experience at Merion, setting it apart from other clubs.

A Walk Through History

Merion Golf Club is steeped in history, and every corner of the course reflects its storied past. The clubhouse exudes old-world charm, with its traditional architecture and richly adorned interiors.

The walls are adorned with photographs, memorabilia, and trophies that pay homage to the club’s champions and significant moments in golf history. Walking the fairways at Merion is like taking a journey through the annals of the game.

A Golfer’s Paradise

Merion Golf Club is a golfer’s paradise, offering a challenging and rewarding experience for players of all skill levels. The course demands accuracy and strategic play, with well-placed hazards and undulating greens that test a golfer’s shot-making abilities. The meticulous maintenance of the course ensures pristine playing conditions and adds to the overall enjoyment of the game.

9.   Royal Melbourne Golf Club: A True Australian Gem

Royal Melbourne Golf Club, located in Melbourne, Australia, is a true gem that showcases the best of Australian golf. With its championship courses, stunning natural beauty, and rich golfing heritage, Royal Melbourne is renowned as one of the world’s finest golf clubs and a bucket-list destination for golf enthusiasts.

Championship Courses

Royal Melbourne Golf Club boasts two championship courses: the East Course and the West Course. Both courses were designed by the legendary golf course architect Alister MacKenzie and have been consistently ranked among the top courses in the world. The East Course, in particular, has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, including the Presidents Cup and the Australian Open, attracting the world’s top golfers.

A Natural Wonderland

Set amidst the picturesque sandbelt region, Royal Melbourne Golf Club offers a breathtaking backdrop for golfers. The courses wind their way through undulating terrain, native vegetation, and sandy bunkers, creating a harmonious blend of golf and nature.

The native eucalyptus trees, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife add to the enchanting atmosphere, immersing golfers in the beauty of the Australian landscape.

Strategic Design

The courses at Royal Melbourne are renowned for their strategic design, demanding precise shot-making and strategic decision-making. The fairways are strategically contoured, offering golfers a variety of shot options and requiring careful course management. The greens are fast and undulating, testing the skill and touch of every golfer. The design elements combined with the challenging layout make Royal Melbourne a true test of golfing prowess.

Historic Legacy

Royal Melbourne Golf Club has a rich golfing heritage that spans over a century. Founded in 1891, it is one of the oldest golf clubs in Australia.

The club has hosted numerous prestigious events, including the 1959 and 2011 Presidents Cups, leaving an indelible mark on the international golfing scene. The historic clubhouse, with its timeless charm and elegant architecture, serves as a testament to the club’s storied past.

World-Class Facilities

its exceptional courses, Royal Melbourne Golf Club offers world-class facilities to ensure a memorable golfing experience.

The clubhouse provides a welcoming atmosphere for members and guests, with fine dining options, comfortable lounges, and stunning views of the courses. Practice facilities, including driving ranges and putting greens, allow golfers to hone their skills before taking on the challenges of the course.

10. Muirfield Golf Links: Golfing Legacy

Muirfield Golf Links, located in East Lothian, Scotland, is a place of golfing legend and a testament to the rich history and tradition of the game. With its timeless design, challenging layout, and prestigious championship heritage, Muirfield has earned its place as one of the world’s most revered golf courses.

An Iconic Championship Venue

Muirfield has a storied history as a championship venue, having hosted The Open Championship sixteen times. This prestigious tournament, often referred to as the “oldest major,” has seen golf’s greatest players compete on Muirfield’s hallowed fairways.

The course has been witness to memorable moments and remarkable displays of skill, further cementing its status as an iconic venue in the world of golf.

Timeless Design

The design of Muirfield Golf Links is a masterpiece crafted by renowned golf course architect Old Tom Morris. With its classic links layout, the course seamlessly merges with the rugged coastal landscape.

The undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and challenging greens provide a true test of skill and strategy. The design has withstood the test of time, earning Muirfield a reputation as a strategic and fair test of golf.

Natural Beauty

Muirfield is nestled amidst the stunning natural beauty of East Lothian, surrounded by sweeping sand dunes, lush grasslands, and breathtaking coastal views. The course’s coastal location infuses it with a unique character, where players must contend with ever-changing winds and unpredictable weather conditions. The panoramic vistas and the tranquility of the surroundings add to the allure of the golfing experience at Muirfield.

Honouring Tradition

Muirfield Golf Links is a place steeped in tradition and golfing etiquette. The clubhouse, a grand Georgian structure, exudes a sense of elegance and history. Within its walls, golfers find themselves surrounded by memorabilia, artifacts, and photographs that pay homage to the rich heritage of the game and the legendary figures who have graced Muirfield’s fairways.

The traditions of the game are cherished and respected, creating an atmosphere that is both reverential and welcoming.

Exclusivity and Privilege

Muirfield Golf Links is a private members’ club, offering a privileged experience for its members and their guests. The exclusivity adds to the allure and mystique of the course, attracting golfers from around the world who appreciate the opportunity to play on this revered links. While access to Muirfield is primarily limited to members, it occasionally opens its doors to limited public play, allowing golf enthusiasts to experience the magic of this legendary course.

11. Royal Portrush Golf Club: Stunning Irish Scenery

Royal Portrush Golf Club, located in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is a golfing paradise that offers not only a world-class golfing experience but also stunning views of the Irish scenery. With its rich history, challenging course layout, and breathtaking coastal setting, Royal Portrush is a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts from around the globe.

A Golfing Gem in Ireland

Royal Portrush Golf Club holds a special place in the hearts of golfers, not just in Ireland but worldwide. It is home to two exceptional championship courses: the renowned Dunluce Links and the hidden gem, Valley Links. The Dunluce Links, in particular, has gained international acclaim for its challenging layout and has been the host of major tournaments, including The Open Championship.

Coastal Beauty

One of the standout features of Royal Portrush Golf Club is its picturesque coastal location. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the North Atlantic Ocean, the courses at Royal Portrush offer panoramic views of rugged cliffs, golden sandy beaches, and crashing waves.

The stunning Irish scenery adds an element of awe-inspiring beauty to the golfing experience, making every round at Royal Portrush a truly memorable one.

The Dunluce Links

The Dunluce Links is the crown jewel of Royal Portrush Golf Club. Designed by legendary golf course architect Harry Colt, it presents a challenging and strategic layout that tests the skills of even the most seasoned golfers.

The course winds its way through towering dunes, deep bunkers, and undulating fairways, demanding accuracy and thoughtful shot selection. Every hole offers a new and exciting challenge, ensuring an unforgettable golfing experience.

History and Heritage

Royal Portrush Golf Club has a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1888. Over the years, it has played host to numerous prestigious tournaments, including The Open Championship in 1951 and, more recently, in 2019.

The club’s clubhouse, with its traditional architecture and warm hospitality, is a testament to its heritage and serves as a gathering place for golfers to share stories and create lasting memories.

The Valley Links

While the Dunluce Links takes center stage, the Valley Links at Royal Portrush should not be overlooked. Offering a contrasting golfing experience, the Valley Links showcases stunning views of the River Bush and the surrounding countryside.

This course, although shorter in length, still provides an enjoyable and challenging round of golf, allowing players to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Irish landscape.

12. Whistling Straits: A Destination for Golfers

Whistling Straits, located along the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisconsin, is a golfing paradise that has earned a reputation as a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts.

With its stunning natural beauty, world-class courses, and rich championship history, Whistling Straits offers a golfing experience that is unparalleled.

Majestic Setting

Whistling Straits is blessed with a majestic setting that captivates golfers and visitors alike. The courses are carved out of an expansive, rugged landscape with rolling hills, towering dunes, and sweeping views of Lake Michigan.

The unique combination of inland and coastal characteristics gives Whistling Straits a distinct and breathtaking beauty that sets it apart from other golfing destinations.

Championship Courses

At the heart of Whistling Straits are two championship courses: The Straits Course and The Irish Course. Designed by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, these courses have hosted several prestigious tournaments, including the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

The Straits Course, in particular, has gained international acclaim for its challenging layout, strategic bunkering, and unforgettable holes that wind along the shoreline.

Links-Style Golfing

Whistling Straits is known for its links-style golfing, which pays homage to the classic seaside courses of Scotland and Ireland. The fescue-covered fairways, rugged bunkers, and undulating greens mimic the characteristics of traditional links courses, providing golfers with a unique and authentic golfing experience.

The ever-present winds off Lake Michigan add an extra layer of challenge and excitement, testing the skills and strategy of players.

Unforgettable Holes

Whistling Straits is home to several iconic and unforgettable holes that have left a lasting impression on golfers. The par-3 17th hole on the Straits Course, known as “Pinched Nerve,” features a treacherous green surrounded by deep bunkers and offers stunning views of Lake Michigan.

The par-4 18th hole, aptly named “Dyeabolical,” presents a demanding and dramatic finish that requires precision and nerve.

Luxurious Amenities

Whistling Straits offers luxurious amenities to complement the world-class golfing experience. The clubhouse, designed to resemble an Irish farmhouse, exudes elegance and charm. It features fine dining options, cozy lounges, and panoramic views of the courses and Lake Michigan.

The golf shop offers a wide range of top-quality golf apparel, equipment, and memorabilia, allowing golfers to take a piece of Whistling Straits home with them.

13. Oakmont Country Club: Legendary Difficulty

Oakmont Country Club, located in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, is renowned for its legendary difficulty and is considered one of the most challenging golf courses in the world. With its rich history, iconic design, and demanding playing conditions, Oakmont has earned its place as a true test of skill for golfers of all levels.

A Golfing Icon

Oakmont Country Club has a storied history dating back to its establishment in 1903. Over the years, it has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, including multiple U.S. Opens. The course has been the battleground for golf’s greatest players, and its reputation for difficulty has only grown stronger with time.

Demanding Course Design

The course at Oakmont is a masterpiece of golf course architecture. Designed by Henry Fownes, it features narrow fairways, punishing rough, and strategically placed bunkers and hazards.

The undulating greens, known for their speed and severe slopes, add an extra layer of challenge. Every shot at Oakmont requires precision, strategy, and careful decision-making to navigate the treacherous layout successfully.

Lightning-Fast Greens

One of the most notorious features of Oakmont is its lightning-fast greens. Maintained to perfection, these greens are meticulously groomed to provide a fast and true putting surface.

The speed and subtle breaks of the greens make putting a daunting task, testing even the most skilled golfers’ ability to read and execute delicate putts. Controlling the ball’s speed and accurately gauging the breaks become paramount to scoring well at Oakmont.

Punishing Rough

The rough at Oakmont is infamous for its thickness and penalizing nature. Straying off the fairway often means finding yourself in the thick, gnarly rough that severely punishes wayward shots.

Escaping the rough requires precision and power to advance the ball back onto the fairway, often necessitating a strategic approach to avoid compounding mistakes and incurring high scores.

Strategic Bunkering

Oakmont is renowned for its strategic placement of bunkers throughout the course. The bunkers guard landing areas, pinch fairways, and protect greens, forcing golfers to carefully plan their shots and navigate the hazards with precision.

The deep, unforgiving bunkers demand both skill and creativity to successfully recover from them

Championship Legacy

Oakmont Country Club’s championship legacy is a testament to its difficulty. The course has hosted numerous U.S. Open Championships where only the best golfers in the world compete.

The list of champions who have conquered Oakmont includes legendary names such as Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Ernie Els. The demanding nature of the course ensures that only those with exceptional skill, mental fortitude, and strategic prowess emerge victorious.

14. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort: A Golfer’s Paradise

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, nestled along the stunning Oregon coastline, is a golfer’s paradise that offers a truly exceptional golfing experience. With its breathtaking natural beauty, world-class courses, and commitment to the game’s traditions. Bandon Dunes has become a sought-after destination for golf enthusiasts from around the globe.

Spectacular Coastal Setting

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is blessed with a spectacular coastal setting that provides a breathtaking backdrop for golf. Perched atop rugged cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The courses offer panoramic views of crashing waves, rocky shorelines, and pristine sandy beaches.

Championship-Caliber Courses

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort are its five championship-caliber courses. Each designed by renowned architects who have embraced the natural contours of the land.

The original Bandon Dunes course, designed by David McLay Kidd, was just the beginning. Subsequent additions such as Pacific Dunes by Tom Doak. Bandon Trails by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Old Macdonald by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina, and the newest course. Sheep Ranch by Coore and Crenshaw, have further elevated the resort’s reputation.

Links-Style Golfing

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is celebrated for its commitment to links-style golf, reminiscent of the iconic courses found in Scotland and Ireland. The firm and fast fairways, undulating greens, and strategically placed bunkers mimic the challenges and strategic choices found on traditional links courses.

The ever-changing coastal winds add an extra layer of complexity, demanding adaptation and creativity from golfers as they navigate each hole.

Unforgettable Holes

The courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort feature numerous unforgettable holes that leave a lasting impression on players. Whether it’s the dramatic coastline views of Pacific Dunes, the expansive fairways and intricate green complexes of Old Macdonald, or the unique design elements of each course, such as the Punchbowl putting course, every hole offers a distinct and memorable experience.

Commitment to Tradition

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is deeply committed to preserving the traditions of the game. Walking is strongly encouraged, caddies are available to enhance the experience, and the absence of high-tech distractions ensures a pure and immersive golfing environment. The focus is on the spirit of the game, the camaraderie among players, and the connection with the natural surroundings.

World-Class Amenities

The exceptional golf courses, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort offers a range of world-class amenities to complement the golfing experience.

The resort features luxurious accommodations, including lodge rooms, suites, and cottages, providing a comfortable and relaxing retreat after a day on the links. Gourmet dining options, a pro shop stocked with top-quality golf merchandise, and practice facilities further enhance the overall experience for guests.

15. Valderrama Golf Club: European Excellence

Valderrama Golf Club, located in Sotogrande, Spain, is a symbol of European excellence in golf. Renowned for its immaculate conditioning, challenging layout, and rich history, Valderrama has earned its place among the world’s top golf courses.

With its stunning Mediterranean setting and a reputation for hosting prestigious tournaments, Valderrama Golf Club offers an unforgettable golfing experience.

Championship Pedigree

Valderrama Golf Club has a storied history of hosting top-level professional tournaments. It gained international acclaim when it became the first course in continental Europe to host the Ryder Cup in 1997, a testament to its quality and reputation.

The course has also been the stage for numerous European Tour events, attracting the best players from around the world. Its championship pedigree and challenging design make it a favorite among professionals and amateurs alike.

Challenging Layout

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., Valderrama Golf Club offers a demanding and strategic layout that tests golfers’ skills to the fullest. The tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and fast, undulating greens require precise shot placement and careful course management.

The course rewards accuracy, course knowledge, and the ability to navigate its many challenges, making each round a true test of skill.

Immaculate Conditioning

One of the hallmarks of Valderrama Golf Club is its impeccable conditioning. The course is meticulously maintained year-round, ensuring pristine fairways, perfectly manicured greens, and well-groomed bunkers.

The attention to detail and commitment to maintaining the highest standards contribute to the overall golfing experience at Valderrama. Golfers can expect consistent playing surfaces that allow them to focus on their game and fully appreciate the beauty of the course.

Natural Beauty

Valderrama Golf Club is set amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Andalusian countryside. Surrounded by lush vegetation, rolling hills, and cork oak trees, the course offers a serene and picturesque environment for golfers. The peaceful setting, combined with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, creates a tranquil and enjoyable atmosphere that enhances the overall golfing experience.

Signature Holes

Valderrama Golf Club features several iconic and memorable holes that have become synonymous with the course. The par-5 17th hole, known as “Los Gabiones,” is a standout, with a narrow fairway and water hazards that come into play on both the tee shot and the approach.

The 18th hole, aptly named “La Cascada,” requires a precise tee shot over a water feature and a strategically placed bunker, adding drama and excitement to the final hole.

World-Class Facilities

Valderrama Golf Club boasts world-class facilities to complement the exceptional golfing experience. The clubhouse exudes elegance and offers luxurious amenities, including fine dining options, a pro shop stocked with premium golf merchandise, and a welcoming atmosphere for post-round relaxation. The practice facilities allow golfers to fine-tune their skills, with a driving range, putting green, and short game area available.

16. Bethpage Black Course: A Public Golfing Gem

Bethpage Black Course, located in Farmingdale, New York, is a public golfing gem that has captured the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide. Known for its challenging layout, rich history, and accessibility to the public, Bethpage Black has become a must-play course for golfers seeking an exceptional golfing experience.

Championship History

Bethpage Black has a rich championship history and has hosted several prestigious tournaments. It gained international recognition when it became the first publicly owned course to host the U.S.

Open in 2002. Since then, it has hosted two more U.S. Opens, in 2009 and 2019, as well as the Barclays, which is part of the PGA Tour’s FedExCup playoffs. The course’s ability to challenge the best golfers in the world speaks to its quality and reputation.

Challenging Layout

Designed by renowned golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast, Bethpage Black is renowned for its challenging and demanding layout. The course features long, tree-lined fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and formidable rough, requiring precision and accuracy off the tee.

The undulating greens, often protected by deep bunkers, demand a delicate touch and exceptional putting skills. Each hole presents a unique challenge, testing golfers’ skills and decision-making throughout the round.

Public Accessibility

What sets Bethpage Black apart from many other world-class golf courses is its accessibility to the public. As a public course, it welcomes golfers of all skill levels, providing an opportunity for enthusiasts to experience a championship-caliber course without the exclusivity of private membership. The ability to play on the same course that has tested the world’s best players adds to the allure and excitement of teeing it up at Bethpage Black.

Course Conditions

Bethpage Black is known for its exceptional course conditions, with meticulous care taken to ensure a first-class playing experience. The fairways are consistently well-maintained, the greens are fast and true, and the bunkers are meticulously raked.

The attention to detail and commitment to providing excellent playing conditions make each round at Bethpage Black a pleasure, allowing golfers to focus on their game and fully appreciate the course’s challenges.

Electric Atmosphere

Playing at Bethpage Black is an experience that goes beyond the golf course itself. The course has a vibrant and electric atmosphere, thanks to the passionate New York golf community that embraces the game. From the enthusiastic gallery to the lively banter among players, there is a sense of camaraderie and excitement that adds to the overall enjoyment of the round. The energy and enthusiasm of fellow golfers make every visit to Bethpage Black memorable.

Supporting Facilities

Bethpage State Park, where the Black Course is located, offers a range of supporting facilities to enhance the overall golfing experience. The park features additional golf courses, including the Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow courses, providing variety for golfers of all levels. Amenities such as a pro shop, practice areas, and a clubhouse with dining options add convenience and comfort to the visit.

17. Kingsbarns Golf Links: Coastal Elegance

Kingsbarns Golf Links, situated along the picturesque coastline of St. Andrews, Scotland, is a golfing gem that epitomizes coastal elegance. With its stunning natural beauty, impeccable course design, and rich golfing heritage, Kingsbarns offers an unforgettable golfing experience for players of all skill levels.

Breathtaking Coastal Setting

Kingsbarns Golf Links boasts a breathtaking coastal setting that sets it apart from many other courses in the world. Perched atop rugged cliffs overlooking the North Sea, the course offers panoramic views of the pristine sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, and the vast expanse of the ocean. The ever-changing light and the sound of crashing waves create a serene and awe-inspiring ambiance that immerses golfers in the natural beauty of the Scottish coastline.

Impeccable Course Design

Designed by Kyle Phillips, Kingsbarns Golf Links showcases impeccable course design that seamlessly blends with the coastal landscape. The layout takes full advantage of the natural contours of the land. Incorporating strategic bunkering, undulating fairways, and challenging green complexes. The holes are thoughtfully crafted to provide a variety of shot options, ensuring the golf experience.

Links-Style Golf at Its Finest

Kingsbarns Golf Links exemplifies the best of links-style golf, a traditional style of golf often associated with coastal courses in Scotland and Ireland. The firm and fast fairways, the fescue grasses, and the ever-present coastal winds combine to create a true-links golf experience. The elements add an extra layer of challenge, demanding adaptability and creativity from golfers as they navigate the course. Playing at Kingsbarns offers a genuine taste of golfing heritage and the opportunity to connect with the origins of the game.

Scenic and Memorable Holes

Each hole at Kingsbarns Golf Links presents a unique and memorable challenge, contributing to the allure of the course. The par-3 15th hole, known as “Cambo,” stands out with its dramatic tee shot over a rocky bay to a green nestled among the dunes.

The par-4 6th hole, aptly named “Shark’s Fin,” requires precision off the tee to avoid a large bunker that resembles a shark’s dorsal fin. The course’s collection of remarkable holes ensures that golfers are treated to an unforgettable round of golf.

Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Kingsbarns Golf Links is committed to environmental sustainability and responsible course management. The course embraces ecologically sensitive practices to preserve and enhance the natural habitat surrounding the links.

Native grasses, dune restoration, and wildlife conservation efforts are all integral parts of the course’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

World-Class Facilities and Hospitality

Kingsbarns Golf Links offers world-class facilities and warm Scottish hospitality to enhance the overall golfing experience. The clubhouse provides a welcoming and comfortable environment for golfers, with panoramic views of the course and the coastline.

The pro shop offers a selection of premium golf merchandise, allowing golfers to take home a piece of the Kingsbarns experience. The staff’s attentiveness and professionalism contribute to the overall enjoyment of every visit.

18. Trump Turnberry Resort: Scottish Grandeur

Trump Turnberry Resort, located on the stunning Ayrshire coast in Scotland. It is a destination that exudes Scottish grandeur and offers a luxurious golfing experience. With its rich history, breathtaking views, world-class courses, and exceptional amenities. Trump Turnberry has established itself as one of the most prestigious golf resorts in the world.

Historic Legacy

Trump Turnberry Resort is steeped in history, adding to its allure and grandeur. The resort’s centerpiece is the iconic Turnberry hotel, a historic landmark that has welcomed guests since 1906. The hotel’s elegant architecture and luxurious interiors reflect a bygone era of elegance and sophistication. Over the years, Turnberry has hosted numerous major golf championships, including The Open Championship, cementing its status as a revered venue in the world of golf.

Majestic Coastal Setting

Perched atop rugged cliffs overlooking the Firth of Clyde, Trump Turnberry boasts a majestic coastal setting that captivates visitors. With panoramic vistas of the ocean, Ailsa Craig island, and the Ayrshire coastline. The ever-changing Scottish weather and dramatic sunsets add to the beauty and drama of the surroundings. Creating a memorable backdrop for a round of golf.

Championship-Caliber Golf Courses

Trump Turnberry is home to two championship-caliber golf courses: the Ailsa Course and the King Robert the Bruce Course. The Ailsa Course, one of the most revered links courses in the world, has undergone a recent renovation and offers a challenging and rewarding golfing experience. It has played host to multiple Open Championships and has witnessed some of golf’s greatest moments. The King Robert the Bruce Course, named after the legendary Scottish king. it provides a formidable and enjoyable test of golf with its strategic design and breathtaking views.

Unforgettable Golfing Experiences

Playing golf at Trump Turnberry is an unforgettable experience, with each hole presenting its own unique challenge and beauty. The Ailsa Course is known for its iconic holes, such as the par-3 9th hole “Bruce’s Castle” and the par-4 10th hole “Duel in the Sun.” The King Robert the Bruce Course features stunning views of Turnberry lighthouse and incorporates natural dune formations and strategic bunkering.

Luxury and World-Class Amenities

Trump Turnberry Resort offers a wealth of luxury and world-class amenities to complement the golfing experience. The resort features elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, many of which offer stunning views of the coastline. Indulgent spa facilities, exquisite dining options, and a wide range of recreational activities ensure that guests have a truly unforgettable stay. The resort provides state-of-the-art practice facilities, a well-stocked pro shop, and expert instruction, allowing golfers to improve their game and make the most of their time at Turnberry.

Impeccable Service

At Trump Turnberry, impeccable service and attention to detail are paramount. The resort’s dedicated staff ensures that every aspect of a guest’s stay, both on and off the course, exceeds expectations. From personalized concierge services to attentive and friendly staff members, the commitment to providing a first-class experience is evident throughout the resort.

19. Cypress Point Club: A Hidden Paradise

Cypress Point Club, nestled on the scenic Monterey Peninsula in California, is a hidden paradise that captivates golfers with its natural beauty, and exclusive atmosphere. Revered as one of the world’s finest golf courses. Cypress Point offers an unparalleled golfing experience for those fortunate enough to step foot on its hallowed fairways.

Secluded Coastal Beauty

Cypress Point Club is situated along the rugged coastline of Pebble Beach, boasting breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The course is enveloped by dramatic cliffs, pristine sandy beaches. And enchanting cypress trees, creating a secluded and serene golfing oasis. The natural beauty of the surroundings, coupled with the soothing sound of crashing waves. Provides a tranquil and awe-inspiring backdrop for an unforgettable round of golf.

Timeless Course Design

Designed by renowned golf course architect Alister MacKenzie in 1928, Cypress Point is celebrated for its timeless and strategic design. MacKenzie’s signature bunkering, strategically placed hazards, and undulating greens add complexity to each hole. Requiring careful shot placement and thoughtful course management.

Memorable Holes

Cypress Point is renowned for its collection of memorable and awe-inspiring holes that showcase the course’s strategic brilliance. The par-3 16th hole, known as “The Spectacles,” is particularly iconic, featuring two greens nestled among the dunes and framed by a stunning ocean backdrop. The par-5 18th hole, aptly named “The Lone Cypress,” provides a dramatic finish. With golfers playing toward the iconic lone cypress tree that has become synonymous with the course.

Exclusivity and Privacy

Cypress Point Club is known for its exclusivity and privacy, adding to its allure as a hidden paradise. The club has a limited membership and strictly controls access to the course, ensuring a secluded and intimate golfing experience.

Pristine Course Conditions

Cypress Point maintains impeccable course conditions year-round, further enhancing the golfing experience. The fairways are meticulously groomed, the greens are smooth and fast, and the bunkers are meticulously maintained. The club’s dedication to course maintenance ensures that every shot is played on a pristine canvas. Allowing golfers to fully appreciate the course’s beauty and test their skills in optimal conditions.

20. Carnoustie Golf Links: A Challenging Links Course

Carnoustie Golf Links, located on the east coast of Scotland, is renowned for being one of the most challenging in the world.

A Links Golfing Tradition

As one of the oldest golf courses in the world, Carnoustie has a deep-rooted tradition in the game of golf. Dating back to the early 16th century, this historic course has witnessed countless memorable moments and championship battles.

It has hosted The Open Championship on several occasions. Solidifying its reputation as a premier championship venue the world’s best golfers.

Unpredictable Weather Conditions

One of the defining characteristics of Carnoustie Golf Links is its exposure to the elements. The course is situated on a coastal strip, making it susceptible to ever-changing weather conditions. Strong winds, dense fog, and sudden rain showers can greatly influence the playability of the course. Adding an extra layer of challenge and unpredictability.

Golfers must adapt their strategies and shot selections accordingly, making each round a unique and demanding experience.

Strategic Design and Layout

The layout of Carnoustie Golf Links is meticulously crafted to provide a stern examination of a golfer’s skills. The course features strategically placed bunkers, undulating fairways, and fast greens that require precise shot-making and strategic decision-making.

The Barry Burn, a meandering waterway that winds its way through the course. Adds both visual appeal and strategic challenges, demanding accuracy off the tee and precise approach shots.

The Infamous Closing Stretch

Carnoustie is renowned for its treacherous finishing holes, often referred to as one of the toughest closing stretches in golf. The par-4 16th hole, named “Barry Burn,” requires a well-placed drive and an accurate approach shot to avoid the water hazard that guards the green.

Can I play golf 3 days after cataract Surgery? The par-3 17th hole, aptly named “Island,” challenges golfers with a demanding tee shot over water to a well-guarded green. These final holes can make or break a round, testing a golfer’s nerves and skills under pressure.

Championship Heritage

Carnoustie Golf Links has hosted The Open Championship eight times, including the famous “Duel in the Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1975. This storied championship history has further elevated the reputation of Carnoustie as a true test of championship golf. Golfers have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of golfing legends the same challenges that they faced during their historic battles.

Spectacular Course Features

While Carnoustie Golf Links may be known for its difficulty, it also offers breathtaking views and memorable features. The course overlooks the North Sea, providing stunning coastal scenery and panoramic vistas. With its rolling dunes and tall fescue grass, adds to the natural beauty and character of the course. These features combine to create a visually stunning and immersive golfing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions of the Best Golf Courses in the World

What criteria were used to rank the top 20 golf courses?

The top 20 golf courses were ranked based on their history, architecture, playing conditions, and overall reputation among golfers worldwide. Factors such as course design, natural beauty, challenges offered, and hosting of major championships were taken into consideration.

Is Golf Really Just a Rich Person’s Game?

Do you know Is Golf Really Just a Rich Person’s Game? Golf, often perceived as a sport of privilege and it’s everybody’s game, transcends socioeconomic boundaries. While historically associated with the affluent, golf has evolved into a game that welcomes players from all walks of life.

Today, public courses, affordable equipment options, and community programs have made golf accessible to a broader audience.

The sport’s essence lies in its ability to bring people together. Fostering camaraderie and a shared love for the game, regardless of one’s financial background.

Are these golf courses open to the public?

The accessibility of these golf courses varies. While some are open to the public, others have limited access and may require membership or special invitations. It is advisable to check the individual policies of each course before planning a visit.

Can I book tee times in advance?

Yes, tee times can usually be booked in advance for most of these top-ranked golf courses. It is recommended to contact the respective courses or check their websites for information on booking procedures and availability.

Which golf course is best suited for beginners?

Several of the top 20 golf courses offer options suitable for beginners. Courses with wider fairways, less punishing rough, and beginner-friendly tees are often a good choice for novice golfers. It is recommended to consult with course staff or golf professionals to find the best fit for your skill level.

How can I plan a golf trip to one of these top-ranked courses?

Planning a golf trip to one of these top-ranked courses requires careful research. Start by selecting the golf courses you wish to visit and determine their accessibility and booking procedures. Consider factors such as travel arrangements, accommodations, and tee time availability.

Last View

In conclusion, the world is blessed with a plethora of exceptional golf courses that cater to the desires of golfers of all skill levels. From historic gems like Augusta National and St. Andrews to coastal beauties like Pebble Beach and Cypress Point. Each course offers its unique charm and challenges.

Whether you’re a golf enthusiast or an avid player, experiencing these top 20 golf courses in the world is a bucket-list-worthy endeavor.

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